Update 7:30 p.m. FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Connecticut's Senate passed what are believed to be some of the nation's strictest gun control laws Wednesday in response to the deadly shootings of 26 students and staff members at Newtown's Sandy Hook School on Dec. 14.
“What happened at Sandy Hook was a horror. Yet sadly this kind of mass shooting is not unprecedented. A common thread through many of these tragedies has been the prevalence of assault weapons, designed for use in war," said state Sen. Carlo Leone, a Democrat from Stamford.
With the state House expected to approve the bill later Wednesday night, the Senate Democratic Caucus detailed key provisions of the bill:
- Establishes a first-in-the-nation dangerous weapon offender registry for those convicted of weapons-related offenses.
- Requires “universal background checks” for the sale of all firearms immediately.
- Expands the Connecticut Assault Weapons Ban to include more than 100 new weapons.
- Immediately bans the sale or purchase of large capacity magazines and imposes extremely stringent restrictions on the use of those currently possessed.
- Requires new state issued eligibility certificates for the purchase of any rifle, shotgun or ammunition.
- Requires that school security and safety plans be developed at each Connecticut school.
- Establishes the School Safety Infrastructure Council to develop safety standards for school building projects by 2014.
- Reauthorizes the school security infrastructure competitive grant program to reimburse towns for upgrades to school security infrastructure.
- Requires all state and independent colleges and universities in Connecticut to submit their security plan to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
- Requires the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to administer a mental health first aid training program to teach people to recognize the signs of mental disorders in children and young adults and connect them with services. Allows boards of education to require teachers and other school employees to participate.
FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Connecticut legislators Wednesday afternoon were debating what is widely believed to be the toughest gun laws in the nation in response to the massacre at Newtown's Sandy Hook School on Dec. 14.
The eyes of the nation were on Hartford as the bill was expected to pass later Wednesday.
NBC Connecticut is streaming live footage of the legislators' statements, debate and, eventually, the vote.
The New York Times editorial staff published an editorial piece Tuesday supporting the bill but saying the state's proposed bill still did not go far enough in its gun control.
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